R6.8bn redirected to Social Relief of Distress grant
CAPE TOWN – The Cabinet aims to redirect R6.8 billion from the public employment programme allocation to the Social Relief of Distress grant, which has been extended to the end of January 2021.
This was announced by the Finance Minister Tito Mboweni when delivering the Medium-term Budget Policy statement on Wednesday, saying the reason for this was that the grant was so effective in reaching the unemployed.
Mboweni said this adjustments appropriation would also add R1 billion for food relief to fight hunger. The temporary increases in other grants would, unfortunately, have to come to an end.
“As the pandemic has unfolded, some shifts in resources could be implemented. The resources for the relief package came from a variety of places, including drawing down on Unemployment Insurance Fund reserves, the issuing of new guarantees and projected revenue losses.
“During the lockdown, cash grants were paid to over 22 million people, nearly half of the population.
“To reach the poorest South African households, we expanded social protection. Seven million people accessed the Temporary Employment Relief Scheme through the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant reached six million people,” said Mboweni.
The Minister also gave an abridged breakdown of where the R500 billion fiscal relief package was allocated:
⦁More than R30 billion for health and other frontline services
⦁Support vulnerable households which is now in excess of R50 billion
⦁More than R40 billion for wage protection through the UIF
⦁Around R100 billion for job creation initiatives, which will now be spread over the MTEF
⦁R200 billion for a credit guarantee scheme
⦁R20 billion towards municipalities to assist them with Covid-19 related activities
⦁R70 billion towards emergency tax measures